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AWir iv31′ WE WIN AGAIN For the second straight year, the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, a national organization of statehouse journalists, has honored the , Observer with a reporting award. TO writers Dave Mann and Lauren Reinlieh won second place for single report in a magazine for their story The builder -friendly policies of the Texas Residential Construction Commission. You can read the article at , LORENZO THOMAS \(1944-We are sad to report the recent death of Lorenzo Thomas: poet, critic teacher, and friend of the Observer. Born in Panama, Thomas grew U in New York and taught for many years at the University of Housto Downtown. Among his books of poetry and criticism are Chances are’s’ ,\\ Few, Dancing on Main Street, and Extraordinary Measures: Afrocentric Modernism and 20th Century American Poetry. His last essay for the Observer, “Keeping the Flame Alive,” a retrospective on Texas poetry, vs published in the December 3, 2004 issue of the magazine. Dialog e AUTHORS! AUTHORS! I enjoyed Gabriela Bocagrande’s review of The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman [“My Head Is Flat,” July 22] . I especially liked the part where she discusses Friedman’s discovery that Karl Marx predicted globalization as a logical outgrowth of capitalism. As corporations merge, their size increases until some corporations are largereconomicallythan many countries. Such corporations by necessity operate globally to obtain natural resources, lower labor costs, more pliable governments, or whatever. While Friedman concludes that global concentration of economic power is good for all, Marx sees it as leading to no good. Friedman can be an entertaining and persuasive writer. It is too bad such a skilled “sycophant’s” talents are not put to better use in support of a more defensible position. Barry Nall Comfort Your Summer Books issue is always a treat. I particularly loved the profiles of the newest group of Texas writers. It’s thrilling to anticipate what they will add to the mix. I write, however, to take exception to Lou Dubose’s reference to “primitive Christian literalists” [“Texas Readers Observed,” July 22]. I take it to be a pejorative stab at those, like myself, who seek to take the words of Jesus literally. I personally find the Christ of canonical scripture to be witty, intelligent, and His words to be a life changing force in my own life. In my case, it leads me to political progressivism. To some extent it is because I believe His words to be literally true. Mr. Dubose may enjoy Jose Saramago’s description of Christ. I haven’t read the book, so I won’t comment other than to opine that the description of Jesus in the Gospels is a compelling read and one that progressives would do well to pay attention to. William 0. Holston, Jr. Dallas I read the reviews on Cormac McCarthy’s latest book in The New Yorker, The New York Times and Vanity Fair, and I think Steven Kellman’s review was superior to them all. It was actually about the book, whereas the others were about McCarthy’s other work, his life, the reviewer’s insight and extensive literary background, etc. continued on page 19 SEPTEMBER 9, 2005 TheTexas Observer FEATURES TEXAS’ DIRTY WAR 6 An excerpt from Tulia: Race, Cocaine, and Corruption in a Small Texas Town by Nate Blakeslee UT TRIES TO HARNESS THE BOMB 10 The University of Texas makes a bid to run Los Alamos by Forrest Wilder DEPARTMENTS DIALOGUE 2 EDITORIAL 3 No More Tulias? POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE 4 MOLLY IVINS 14 Katrina and You JIM HIGHTOWER 15 Bush’s Economic Draft COMMENTARY 16 The GOP’s Criminal Defenders by Andrew Wheat OPEN FORUM 18 The Neocons’ Version of Energy Security by Robert Bryce BOOKS & CULTURE POETRY 21 by Thomas Crofts KIDS R US 22 by James E. McWilliams US AGAINST THE WORLD 24 by Ameni Rozsa Cover photo by Alan Pogue. 2 THE TEXAS OBSERVER SEPTEMBER 9, 2005